Reigning AIG Women’s Open champion Ashleigh Buhai will headline the 30th Investec South African Women’s Open when the Sunshine Ladies Tour celebrates its 10th anniversary with an action-packed season in 2023.
Buhai, who became the country’s second women’s major champion with her Muirfield triumph in August, finished her international season in style with a gritty one-stroke victory in the Women’s Australian Open at Victoria Golf Club.
It is entirely fitting that the pride of South African women’s golf will return to the fairways she forged her career upon as the Sunshine Ladies Tour celebrates a decade as Africa’s principal platform for professional women golfers and development conduit for amateurs coming through the ranks.
Buhai, the only amateur winner of the Sunshine Ladies Tour’s flagship event, will be targeting a fourth victory in March.
The new season will tee off from 1-3 February at Sun City, South Africa’s unrivalled number one holiday resort. The homegrown talent will go head-to-head with the first international campaigners to hit South African shores in the SuperSport Ladies Challenge presented by Sun International, and the R1.3-million season-opener will be contested at the world-renowned Gary Player Country Club.
Next, the circuit heads to South Africa’s premier lifestyle resort, Fancourt, nestled in the heart of South Africa’s Garden Route for the Dimension Data Ladies Pro-Am.
The 10th edition from February 10 will be another milestone worthy of celebration, and to mark the occasion, the purse has been bumped from R600 000 in 2021 to a staggering R2.5-million. In addition, the leading 10 teams on the final day will fight it out for the lion’s share of the R100,000 prize pot in the Betterball Pro-Am Competition.
In previous editions of the popular Sunshine Ladies Tour stop, which is played concurrent with the Sunshine and Challenge Tour’s co-sanctioned Dimension Data Pro-Am, the first two rounds were played at the nearby George Golf Club and the final round at Fancourt. This year all three rounds will be contested at the Outeniqua and Montagu courses.
Atlantic Beach Links in the Cape will host its first Sunshine Ladies Tour event with the R400 000 Cape Town Ladies Open from 15-17 February. The City of Cape Town, who has hosted the Investec South African Women’s Open since 2018, has supported the event since 2015.
The former home of the Investec South African Open, Glendower Golf Club in Edenvale, will welcome back the fifth edition of the Jabra Ladies Classic from 22-24 March. The winner of the Jabra Ladies Classic receives an invitation to compete in the Jabra Ladies Open on the Ladies European Tour.
The Joburg Ladies Open, returns to Modderfontein Golf Club from 1-4 March.
The first Ladies European Tour stop in South Africa boasts a significant bump in prize money – from €250,000 to €300,000 – making this event a hugely attractive drawcard for local golfers with aspirations to play in the Europe and the international contenders targeting an early advantage on the season-long Race to Costa del Sol.
The Investec South African Women’s Open will draw the curtain on the 2023 season from 8-11 March.
This 72-hole showdown will be played at the picturesque Steenberg Golf Club for a second successive year, and the field will be competing for an increased purse of €320,000 (over R5.9-million), thanks to the investment by Investec and the City of Cape Town.
2023 SUNSHINE LADIES TOUR SCHEDULE
- 3-million SuperSport Ladies Challenge presented by Sun International, 1-3 February, Gary Player Country Club
- 5-million Dimension Data Ladies Pro-Am, 10-12 February, Fancourt (Outeniqua and Montagu Courses), Better Ball Pro-Am (R100,000 prize money)
- R 400,000 Cape Town Ladies Open, 15-17 February, Atlantic Beach Links
- R1-milion Jabra Ladies Classic, 22-24 February, Glendower Golf Club
- €300,000 Joburg Ladies Open*, 1-4 March, Modderfontein Golf Club
- €320,000 Investec South African Women’s Open*, 8-11 March, Steenberg Golf Club
*Co-sanctioned with the Ladies European Tour